I would like to discuss today a herb that has many medicinal qualities and it is “Butterbur” also know as Langwort, and quite a few other names. So set back, and relax it might just be the natural remedy you were looking for.
Butterbur is a perennial herb and grows on the fields of Europe, Asia and North America. It is a rather large plant that resembles rhubarb, blooms at the end of April, and primarily grows in moist areas such as along rivers banks and marshes. The plant is thought to get its name, butterbur, because the large, soft leaves were used to wrap butter when trying to keep it cool.
During the Middle Ages it was used to treat the plague known as the “black death” and fever. In Europe, the butterbur has been used as a medicinal herb for centuries as an effective remedy against fever and spasm. Native Americans applied butterbur as a remedy for headaches and inflammations.
The butterbur herb is made into extracts from the root of the herb the leaves, powder, tincture or medicine and pills. The main active components are the petasin and the isopetasin and the highest concentrate is in the root. These two substances play a very important part in the decrease of spasm, muscle relaxant and the soothing of the inflamed nasal membrane. The antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory proprieties of the herb have an important role in adjusting the calcium flow in the human body. It is also known that the deep butterbur roots can protect against lung infections and body toxins. Externally, butterbur has been applied as a poultice over wounds or skin ulcerations.
Other Medicinal Benefits of Butterbur:
1. Remedy for Asthma and Allergies: For treating the seasonal pollen allergies–use 8mg of butterbur 4 per day for no more than two weeks. A peer-reviewed journal published a Swiss study showing Butterbur extract to be an effective treatment for hay fever without the sedative effect of the antihistamine.
2. A Sleep Remedy: Butterbur leaves have a strong sweet scent, which has a calming effect, helps induce sleep, helps individuals that have trouble with nightmares, and gives relief to people who have trouble waking with extreme anxiety. Take 1 teaspoon of powdered butterbur on an empty stomach 3 times a day and once every night before bed.
2. Adjusts Blood Pressure: The root of butterbur is used to adjust blood pressure and is recommended for both high and low blood pressure. In case of oscillating blood pressure it is recommended to have a 1 teaspoon of butterbur powder on an empty stomach three times a day.
3. Reduce Migraine Headaches: Butterbur has been reported to be effective in reducing the occurrence or severity of migraine headaches. Several mainstream double-blind studies have shown that extracts of Butterbur petasin and/or isopetasin are effective both in preventing and in relieving migraine. The recommended dosage to reduce headaches is 50 -75 mg of butterbur twice a day with the food. For the best result you should continue for several months and should be stopped when the headaches don’t occur for more than a month.
4. Relieves Common Cold: Recent studies show that this herb can be used successfully to keep the common cold under control and helps to suppress serious cases of cough such as whooping cough.
5. Relief of Stomach Problems: Extracts from the butterbur root are used to treat stomach ulcers and helps to prevent ulcers by protecting the stomach lining. For relief of a stomachache take 1/2 tsp of butterbur and boil for 2 minutes, then add 1/2 teaspoon of caraway and fennel. Brew for approximately 15-20 minutes. Drink the tea while it is still hot. You should feel gradual relief.
6. Helps with Urinary Incontinence: Urovex Butterbur Extract has been shown in research to improve the sudden urge to urinate. In one study, 24 women were given butterbur for 8 weeks. After three weeks, 17 women reported a significant reduction of the frequency of urination. Before they began taking butterbur, urination intervals were 30 to 90 minutes, while three weeks later the intervals of 17 of the women were between 90 and 150 minutes.
Butterbur naturally has components called pyrrolizidine alkaloids. They are toxic to the liver and may cause cancers. The concentrations are often highest in the rhizomes and stalks, and lowest in the leaves, and may vary depending on where the plants are grown. Fortunately, it is possible to remove these compounds from butterbur products. Butterbur extract should be taken only when prepared by a reputable laboratory. Make sure you are taking a standardized extract that has been processed to remove these potentially dangerous chemicals.
Butterbur is considered a dietary supplement in the United States and is available under the brand name Petadolex.
Although butterbur is a natural safe remedy I just want to remind you to always check with your health-care provider especially if your taking other medicines before using Butterbur or any herbal remedy!
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